Volvo C70 car review
- We like...Smooth cruiser
- We don't...Not sporty
This C70 is, in its design, now knocking on a bit. But there’s still plenty about it that’s new – not least a family-style nose reworked for 2010 and fresh tail lamps, too. The changes tie it strongly to Volvo’s current look, captured most strongly in the just-launched S60 saloon.
We think the new profile works, although the car still looks a touch too heavy around its rump. Still, it’s handsome whether its top is up or down. And its retracting metal roof is unusually well engineered, raising and lowering itself with a dancer’s grace. The cabin, too, is cool and restful in the way that Volvos now are, packing the floating centre console that’s a hallmark of the make. It feels solid in the way you’d expect of the make and it’s pretty spacious, too, giving (just) enough space for four grown-ups.
Another important ingredient in the makeover is Volvo’s new D3 diesel. This is a 2.0 litre, 150bhp, five-cylinder motor. The off-beat note of the engine is a Volvo trademark and has an ‘edge’ to it that sounds good as you rev it but it’s also thoroughly practical, doing as well as it does in sipping fuel and keeping exhaust emissions low.
This motor has the least power of the whatever you choose – there’s a more powerful 2.0 diesel, the D4, and a performance variant, the petrol-propelled T5. But it’s the one to have.
The car’s solidity at standstill means that it feels heavy on the move. Smooth and refined, it’s a great long-distance cruiser but it’s never close to earning its spurs a sports car. There’s just not the quickness in the way it’ll change direction, nor the precision to steering inputs. So a smooth, relaxed and reasonably economical diesel motor makes most sense.
With that clever roof stowed there’s only modest wind ruffle for the driver and front-seat companion unless they really go for it and lower the side windows. But those in the back will take a fair buffeting once above town speeds. It will smooth out road bumps for them although you will feel some body shake, top down, whenever the car crosses badly broken tarmac.
Top up, road noise and wind whistle are effectively kept out, making the C70 a quiet companion on a long motorway trip. It’ll also cover the ground economically, returning up to 47.9mpg overall.
A fair few rivals also lower their metal roofs into the boot: BMW’s 3-series and Volkswagen’s Eos are the two that spring first to mind. And they share a common flaw. Once the roof is down, there’s precious little space left for luggage. In the C70, there’s barely enough for a couple of soft holdalls. It’s so tight that, to remove your luggage, you must first press a button to lift the folded roof by a few inches. Put simply, it forces a choice: lower the roof, or take luggage. Cloth-roofed alternatives such as Audi’s A5, force no such compromise.
Should you buy one? If you’re looking for an open-topper that’s more relaxed than sporty, it’s fine. But it is quite expensive: for us, Volkswagen’s Eos is as good while remaining a chunk cheaper.
- Engines2.0 turbodiesel
- 0-60 mph9.2sec
- Insurance groups28
Motors.co.uk value verdict: